Connect with us

Sports TV News

Steve Levy Reveals The Moment Monday Night Football Crew Loosened Up

“Last year required real adaptation on the part of the three broadcasters.”

Ricky Keeler

Published

on

On September 13, Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick will begin their second year of calling Monday Night Football games for ESPN. Their first year working as a trio brought a lot of challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, calling games with no fans, and being a three-man booth calling games. 

Griese and Levy were guests on the most recent episode of The Dave Pasch Podcast (Riddick will be on a separate episode). Pasch used to call college football games with Griese on ESPN. While there were many challenges to calling games last season, Levy mentioned that working with Griese previously on college football helped get past a lot of those obstacles. 

“I was really fortunate that I wasn’t starting from scratch with Brian. That might have been too much. New producer, new director, three in the booth which can be tricky, has its own sort of issues. In a year where you are not laying out for crowd noise, that was the season to have three voices…We tried to make it as good as possible and we knew we were going to be judged by whatever was coming through the TV screen and the speakers. We were comfortable being judged by that”

Levy took the listener inside the booth. Last year required real adaptation on the part of the three broadcasters. Levy said there were fewer people next to him than ever before.

“We replaced people in the booth with monitors. In an effort to keep your six feet distance, no spotter standing next to us, there was a monitor, the spotter was in another booth. No statistician. Instead of the statistician, we had another monitor in front of us. You got to see the manicure of whoever was pointing to a place in the booth with their own camera. We didn’t know what to go off of.” 

One of the highlights of last season for Levy was in Week 3 when ESPN had the Chiefs-Ravens game. Levy says one tweet from Patrick Mahomes’ mother helped the trio loosen up. It also helped break the ice between them.

After Riddick had called Patrick Mahomes “Pat Mahomes” for most of the night, Mahomes’s mother tweeted “his name is Patrick.”

“We’re in the break and it’s being revealed to us on social media that Patrick’s mom is saying all this stuff and I’m like guys, we’ve got to throw it up on the screen…Louis got hysterical. It loosened everybody up. It’s moments like that. I thought that was a really good jumping-off point for the three of us in the booth.”

Year 2 for Levy, Griese, and Riddick begins on Monday, September 13 when the Baltimore Ravens head to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders (8:15 PM ET). 

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

Published

on

Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

Published

on

F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Published

on

Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.